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The Immoral Mr Teas

Film Four (in the UK)

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Not really complaining (for once) but watching the original Spring in a Small Town (heh, instead of replying to my gud fellas on Equipment etc) on UK tv Channel Film Four. Not too sure of the political situation, but 1948 mainland filmmaking. It's been cleaned up but to me just sounds tinny. Far cleaner than I've heard it before to be sure - ie no hiss. Just wondering though, between ourselves here, people used to listening to awful condition old soundtracks and cleaned up ones, what are the general preferences?

I really don't mean to criticise this particular example (which in my Chinese dvd and previous viewings are hiss central) but when extreme noise reduction is applied and it alters the natural character of the sound to such a degree (albeit enhancing the actual clarity) are we pro or contra?

Kind of like the Rosemary's Baby thread ... and the picture folk suffer worse than us but don't seem to mind?

Jez

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JonG   

I used to work in a studio where we specialized in restoration and remixing sound for TV and film. For pops and clicks, we would manually fix every one of them in Pro-Tools, so you'd never know that they were there. For situations where noise reduction was necessary, we used some really specialized plug-ins that, to be honest, I cannot name because they were not household names like iZotope RX or Waves. But I can say is that they were very expensive, probably no longer available, and worked extremely well. When iZotope RX was released I thought it was a joke, because the plug-ins that I had used years before were far superior in their operation. Wish I could remember what they were though!

So back to your original question: I can go both ways. When watching an old film, I kind of take it for granted that it probably won't sound or look as good as the original tapes/film due to the edit/transfer processes of the day. So it doesn't really bother me at all. I guess I'm just used to it. 

A version that is cleaned up well? Sure, I'll check it out. If it sacrifices the quality in some other way then maybe I'll pass. Guess it depends upon how distracting it is. 

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3 hours ago, JonG said:

When iZotope RX was released I thought it was a joke, because the plug-ins that I had used years before were far superior in their operation. Wish I could remember what they were though!

So it wasn't Cedar, either? Just wondering, as that's sort of a household name, too. 

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That's a tough question. It seems to me that for documentary work, I'd like for it to be clear and intelligible, even if it's a bit less "natural". Although cutting from narration to archived footage, you sort of expect to hear the noise, which really adds to its authenticity. For narrative film work, anything that affects the quality of the voice would probably bother me, but perhaps only if it's a well-known film or actor. 

So the answer is... sorry everyone... It depends.

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